Frustrating your users as fast as you possibly can

I think SEO can be a great tool. I’ve seen great examples of increasing traffic to a web site simply through streamlining content and optimising pages for Google. I was talking to a guy just last week who’d improved his visibility and business had risen by 10%. Good for him.

But do I think everyone HAS to do search engine optimisation? No. Far from it.

Let me illustrate.

I have a client who, after attending a workshop on SEO, told me they just had to run some SEO on their web site. I told him I thought that was a great idea, but not until we’d actually put some content on three of his pages, which had nothing on them. Absolutely nothing. No content. No information. Nothing.

But he was persistent. He’d been convinced by the SEO presenter’s sales pitch at this workshop that the best way to generate business online and improve his web site was through SEO. He had to do it.

It took some time, but I eventually won him over by asking him if he would advertise a product which was faulty. He wouldn’t. Who would?

But that’s what he was doing by increasing traffic to a web site that was, ultimately, faulty. Those pages without content promised information on products, services and – my personal favourite – what’s new. Through SEO he was finding a really fast way to frustrate customers and prospective customers.

Search engine optimisation is fine as a tool, but only if it’s taking more people to a site that is beneficial to them.

I sat in one particular SEO workshop and the presenter said ‘you have to rewrite your web site for Google’. My response? ‘I will, the minute Google buys a copy of my book’. SEO is a tool. It is a means to an end. Your site needs to be written for your audience, not software.

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